Gambia: Amnesty deplores threats of death by president Yahya Jammeh

Amnesty International deplores the statements made by President Yahya Jammeh on Monday 21 September on national television, in which he reportedly stated that he would kill anyone who wants to destabilise the country.

President Yahya Jammeh also specifically threatened human rights defenders, and those working with them, by emphasising that their security and personal safety would not be guaranteed by the government of Gambia.

President Jammeh is reported to have said on state television: “I will kill anyone who wants to destabilise this country. If you think that you can collaborate with so-called human rights defenders, and get away with it, you must be living in a dream world. I will kill you, and nothing will come out of it."

Amnesty International calls on President Yahya Jammeh to immediately retract these statements made on Monday 21 September and to affirm the government’s commitment to respect, protect and promote human rights in line with its constitution and obligations under international law.

Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director, Tim Hancock said:

“No-one should threaten human rights defenders with death, and certainly not a country’s President.

“I am flabbergasted that the Gambian President could make such a statement. Such comments totally contravene his duty to protect, respect and uphold the security and rights of all his country’s citizens.

“We would urge the President to retract these statements immediately and to make every effort to demonstrate his commitment to protecting human rights across Gambia.”

Amnesty International also called on the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mohammed Ibn Chambas, to condemn the statements made by President Yahya Jammeh in the strongest possible terms.

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